Notable Neighbor: Civil War vet with striking monument at Millville Cemetery included as ‘Hometown Hero’

Asa Hill’s banner hangs on East Center Street in Medina, near Rotary Park.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 4 November 2021 at 7:15 am

MEDINA – Among the 132 banners hanging throughout Medina is one paying tribute to a local farmer and veteran of the Civil War.

Asa Hill enlisted Nov. 14, 1863 and served in Company D, 28th New York Infantry.

This monument in Millville Cemetery for Asa Hill, a Shelby farmer and Civil War veteran, is unique, as it is the only one in Orleans County to have been selected for inclusion in Save Outdoor Sculpture, a joint project of the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution and the National Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Property.

His banner was sponsored by his great-granddaughter, Joyce Hill Cook, now a resident of Florida.

Asa’s  farm, known as Hill Top Farm, was located on Sanderson Road. An article in the Medina Journal Register on April 22, 1993 by county historian C.W. Lattin reports the once-stylish house, tenant house, barns and outbuildings are all gone. The Root brothers farm part of the farm today.

It is also interestingly noted Asa is depicted on his monument with both legs, although he had lost one in battle, and he is poised looking toward his farm two miles to the west.

Cook shared that her ancestor was a faithful member of the Shelby Center Baptist Church. He married Catherine “Kate” Bodine of Clinton, N.J. in 1875, with which he had a son, Asa Bodine Hill, Cook’s grandfather.

Asa was wounded Aug. 9, 1862 in the battle of Cedar Mountain, Va., taken prisoner on Aug. 18, 1862, taken to Libby Prison Sept. 25, 1862 and exchanged Oct. 6, 1862 at Harrison’s Landing. He was discharged Jan. 14, 1863.

Cook remembers hearing stories about the loss of his leg. While in Libby Prison, he was give whiskey and a broom handle wrapped in a towel when they sawed his leg off with a meat saw. Afterward, gangrene set in and they put live maggots into the wound to eat the dead flesh. Cook says it must have worked, and Asa was confined to Central Park Hospital until his discharge. He died in 1881.

The village of Medina will begin taking the banners down around Veterans’ Day. Woodruff has already accepted her quota of applications for 2022 banners.